As award shows figure out how to operate during the pandemic, one thing that remains consistent is that artists have come up with interesting ways to perform for a televised audience.
At last night’s Billboard Music Awards, the most memorable performances had very few frills; some of them were stripped down to just a voice and a piano. Here are five great moments from the night.
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen’s loss of their third child last week broke the hearts of millions, and last night Legend channeled his sorrow with a solo piano performance of “Never Break,” which he dedicated to his wife.
Yesterday, Luke Combs released his latest song, “Better Together,” an ode to his wife, Nicole Hocking. At the Billboard Awards, he performed the song accompanied by a piano player.
The show’s host, Kelly Clarkson, kicked off the show with a cover of Steve Winwood’s 1986 classic, “Higher Love,” joined by vocal group Pentatonix, legendary percussionist Shiela E. and, via video, a few hundred other singers.
The show’s “throwback” performance came from legendary R&B group En Vogue, who performed “Free Your Mind,” backed by a three-woman band: each musician wore a facemask that said, “VOTE.” During the song they threw in a sample of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.”
Like Luke Combs, Demi Lovato released a new song yesterday: “Commander In Chief.” She performed the song at the piano, accompanied by backing singers. NBC has not posted the video of the performance; the song is an obvious criticism of America’s current Commander In Chief. (It’s worth noting, though, that NBC is facing a lot of criticism for giving President Trump a town hall event tonight, which will air opposite an already-scheduled ABC forum with his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr. Trump and Biden were originally scheduled to face off tonight in Miami at a formal debate, until last week, when President Trump abruptly withdrew after the Commission on Presidential Debates decided to stage the event virtually over concerns that Trump could still be contagious with the coronavirus). Regardless, Lovato released the music video for the song this morning.